The U.S. State Department has warned its citizens against travel to Afghanistan where security threat to all U.S. citizens remains critical.
In a Travel Warning update issued on Wednesday, the Department said no part of Afghanistan was immune from violence, and that the potential existed throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against U.S. and other Western nationals at any time.
Remnants of the former Taliban regime and the al-Qaeda terrorist network, as well as other groups hostile to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) military operations, remain active.
Afghan authorities have only a limited ability to maintain order and ensure the security of Afghan citizens and foreign visitors. Travel in all areas of the war-torn country is unsafe due to military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, and the possibility of insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The security situation remains volatile and unpredictable throughout the country.
The Department reminded that there is an ongoing and increased risk of kidnapping and assassination of U.S. citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) employees throughout the country.
U.S. citizens have been advised to avoid rallies and demonstrations, which can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
Afghan capital Kabul and its suburbs are also considered at high risk for militant attacks. More than 18 attacks were reported in Kabul city in the first half of this year.
Private U.S. citizens are strongly urged to heed restrictions by the U.S. Embassy, which places areas frequented by foreigners off limits.
The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide emergency Consular services to U.S. citizens is limited, particularly for those persons outside the capital. U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Afghanistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to enroll with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul through the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to obtain updated information on travel and security within Afghanistan.
by RTT Staff Writer
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